WhileMotor Corp. sees no recession, Kia Motors Corp. is celebrating America's new-found frugality as sales climb ever higher.
With recession hanging overhead and gas prices threatening to go up, more people are shelving sport/utility vehicle aspirations and going for practicality. Kia sales hurdled the 100,000 mark in the U.S. by June, putting the company ahead of the pace set in 2000.
Sales are expected to grow more with the introduction of the Sedona minivan — which at $18,995 will be the lowest-priced minivan in America. It stickers for less than theWindstar, Dodge Caravan and Odyssey, but is equipped to play on the same field. It comes loaded with all the essentials in a decent-looking and fine-driving package.
As for power, the Sedona surpasses the competition with an all-new 3.5L V-6. At 195 hp, it comes in not too far off the benchmark set by theOdyssey, with 210 hp. The automaker set sales targets at 20,000 to 24,000.
Kia this year also adds a 5-door version of its base-level Rio, expected to rake in an additional 10,000 to 12,000 units and a $10,000 hatchback called the Rio Cinco.
In about a year, Kia will introduce a midsize SUV that shares the Sedona's power-plant.
With that 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty drawing customers, who knows what road Kia will travel next.